Green Homes


Recent Features

Do most older homes need weatherization?

Weatherization: Low-Cost, High-Return Energy Upgrades

Jan 11, 2009 | West Union, Iowa

Each year, Northeast Iowa Community Action Corporation (NEICAC) uses state funding to weatherize about 100 homes. On this 100-year-old two-story home, and others like it, weatherization crews have performed a variety of diagnostic tests and implemented low-cost, high-return strategies for improving overall energy efficiency — without extensive modifications.

This 2,500-square-foot home is typical for the area but larger than many of the houses in NEICAC's program. The work done on this house reduced air leakage by almost 50%.

cs-passive solar house in Duluth MN exterior

Passive House Methods Help Build for the Future

Jan 8, 2009 | Duluth, Minnesota

Energy Modeling and Integrated Design are Keys to Getting the Most Out of a Home

When Curt and Melissa hired Wagner Zaun Architecture to design a new home for their family, they had a clear goal: build a durable, adaptable home that uses as little energy as possible and has the smallest possible effect on the local and global environment. Designer Rachel Wagner brought in energy consultant Michael LeBeau of Conservation Technologies early to help achieve the project goals in the most integrated way possible.

CS-Hoyle House exterior

Retreat in North Atlantic Seeks Energy Independence

Jan 8, 2009 | Second Peninsula (near Lunenburg), Nova Scotia

A Study in the Efficient Use of Natural Resources

Perched on a coastal peninsula near Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, this contemporary home is used mostly as a summer residence, but with a design that includes active and passive solar heat, a high-thermal-mass radiant slab floor, and thorough air sealing and insulation, it's a nice place to be in any season.

Deck-over-patio doubles outdoor space on a hillside home

A Durable Deck Ties This Home to the Landscape

Dec 19, 2008 | East Greenwich, Rhode Island

The large, wraparound deck not only creates a nice bridge between the house and back yard, it helps balance the entire house on the property. The eastern exposure is elevated above the sloping grade, offering shade and cool breezes in summer, while the southern exposure provides warmth on all but the coldest days in winter. The house is small, so extra outdoor space to enjoy the private wooded lot and abundant wildlife is welcome in every season.

Design approach: Connect the yard to this hillside home on both floors

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